What is the difference between the perception of a baby, a teenager, and an adult? They are all living in the same world, just like you and I, and see it in front of them. But the degree to which each of them reveals this world depends on their development, and to the same extent each of them actively participates in his life. And the world also relates to a person according to his development.
Say, until age 10, a child is considered young and the contribution he makes is moderate, commensurate with his sensation and understanding. The entire difference between this childish perception and the adult one is “covered” by the environment in both senses of the word: both by concealing things that the child cannot understand correctly yet, and compensating for what he is unable to do himself. It turns out that a child receives everything from the world that he is yet unable to earn himself.
And exactly the same thing happens to us in the spiritual work. We are standing opposite the Creator, the upper Light that is at absolute rest, and nothing exists besides Him. But for now there is a concealment that hides the Light which we are unable to reveal, and that compensates for the shortcoming of our work.
When is it already possible to say that a person is in the state of Lo Lishma (for his sake), from which he proceeds to Lishma, bestowal? Only when he feels that he is definitely opposite the Creator, but there is a certain picture of reality standing between them. It is depicted by his qualities or sensations. This is an imaginary world that seems to exist to him—the friends, the group, and everything all around him. This is what still separates a person from the simple upper Light, from the quality of bestowal and absolute love.
For now he does not have these qualities. He makes calculations and behaves according to his development. But he already has a sensation and the right understanding that he stands opposite the Creator, separated from Him by the picture of this world, through which he works with the Creator. This picture of reality essentially consists of all of his uncorrected qualities, which conceal and protect (compensate), like “hair.”
After all, if everything was revealed to him, then of course he would not be able to enter the right relationships with the Creator.
That is how we should view our state. Only from this state of Lo Lishma, when we are sure that there is Lishma (bestowal), but we are not in it, can we gradually come to Lishma if we constantly and persistently try to reveal the Creator and view every occurrence as an opportunity given to us from above to correct our state of Lo Lishma and attain Lishma.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/19/11, Writings of Rabash